The Endless Summer
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The greatest surf movie ever made. "On any day of the year it is summer somewhere in the world..." Go with Robert August and Mike Hynson as they follow the summer season to Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Hawaii and California in search of the perfect wave. Still the ultimate surf film of all time!
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The plot, while not very important, follows surfers Bruce Brown (director, writer, and narrator of the film), Mike Hynson, and Robert August as they travel around the world in search of "the perfect wave". Key spots include Hawaii, California, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Tahiti. The title derives from the idea of following the summer around the world.
It should be noted that knowledge of surfing is NOT required to enjoy this film (I, for example, knew nothing about the sport). This aspect is Bruce Brown's greatest achievement. The film is incredible in it accessibility. Brown narrates, and from the get-go, he is welcoming, light-hearted, and occasionally quite funny. The soundtrack for the movie is provided by The Sandals, and their music, including the film's now iconic theme song, sets the perfect mood. It also doesn't hurt that the sport of surfing is hypnotic and very fun to watch, especially with the great talents Brown is able to capture (Butch Van Artsdalen and Miki Dora are definite highlights). The film is beautifully shot, usually from the shore, but every once in a while from the surfboard itself.
I hesitate to call The Endless Summer a "great" documentary in the same class as Crumb, For All Mankind, Gimme Shelter, Dear Zachary, or the films of Allan King. It's kinda one-note, probably runs a good 15 minutes too long, and isn't exactly deep. But then again, it doesn't really have to be. What Bruce Brown exceeds at is capturing a mood and sense of fun. When Mike or Robert pull off a great ride, teach a few natives how to surf (in one of the film's most hilarious, though not exactly politically correct scenes), and of course, finally find that perfect wave in Southern Africa, you're just as excited as they are. No, The Endless Summer is not profound or thought-provoking cinema, but one aspect of it is undeniable: It's fun. Sometimes that's more than enough.
I was so upset to find out that there was nothing else. Not even a trailer. Geez... I was hoping that Bruce Brown would have some cool footage...gag reels or something for this DVD release. Of course, I recommend the DVD over the VHS but in this case...the main benefit from buying this DVD over the VHS is that you know it's not going to degrade from watching it many times.
I love this movie...I love it! But the DVD should have more...
I give the movie an A+ but the DVD a D due to the lack of special features and nothing else but the movie. DVD fans expect more these days but I guess when you get an Image Entertainment DVD, not to have your hopes set so high.
If you haven't seen the movie or you are a fan and has a VHS that is degrading due to watching it so many times, check out the DVD version!
My sons (now 15 & 8) aboslutely LOVE this movie, and couldn't wait to show it to their friends! The "extras" really added to the story. We actually met Robert August at a local surfing contest (we are not surfers, yet, but spend a lot of our summer at the beach); he was very friendly and took a few minutes to talk to the boys about surfing & the movie and sign their t-shirts.
I would highly recommend this movie for anyone who's ever spent time at the shore.